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‘Control freak’ ‘Big part of problem’ ‘Too much control’- Celtic fans turn their anger to CEO Lawwell

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Behind Neil Lennon there is one man that is ultimately responsible for where Celtic stand, probably slumped, this morning.

The manager picks the team, selects the tactics and faces the media before and after every match.

Watching three successive, draining defeats from behind his mask is Peter Lawwell, the powerbroker at Celtic Park until things get so out of hand Dermot Desmond is forced into action.

In 17 years at Celtic Lawwell has grown his powerbase, it is a ridiculous timespan for the CEO of a PLC, he has effectively been involved in every significant appointment behind the scenes.

The last time that Celtic were in this situation was in April 2016 when Desmond watched a feeble Scottish Cup semi-final defeat at Hampden. After a month of uninspiring due diligence from his CEO he stepped in, appointed Brendan Rodgers and every area of the playing side was transformed.

With Tony Mowbray and Ronny Deila on his crime sheet Lawwell initially took a back seat but by the summer of 2018 the fault lines were blown open by the John McGinn saga with Dedryck Boyata and Moussa Dembele running in tandem.

Fortunately when Rodgers exited Lennon was on Celtic’s doorstep and available. It was incredible fortune, the perfect caretaker to complete the season.

Last season Lennon showed his managerial strength from the turn of the year but the post Lockdown period has been a complete disaster, one that a competent CEO should have been all over. Warning signs and red flags were everywhere, as was executive complacency.

Only a replacement goalkeeper had been brought in for the Champions League qualifier against Ferencvaros with the outcome similar to the visits of Cluj and Copenhagen.

After losing out of a possible £30m Lennon spoke out about players not wanting to be here. Again a competent CEO should have stepped in, it wouldn’t be meddling but it was negligent not to deal with that issue decisively.

The players that want away and the manager reluctantly working with them have taken Celtic to three successive home defeats. Each one humiliating in its own way, a lack of pattern, purpose, spirit and apparently interest.

On Sunday Celtic could be trailing by double figures in the SPFL, if that is avoided at Motherwell it could happen a fortnight later away to Hibs.

Lawwell’s decision to remove Lennon is a reflection on his own judgement. If he isn’t prepared to make that big call then an equally big call has to be made on his own position.

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